Marriage is a lifelong exclusive commitment to the person you chose to marry. It requires strong dedication, marital commitment, and endless efforts to make it work. Some marriages tend to fail due to factors such as irreconcilable differences, adultery, cruelty, domestic violence, desertion, and abandonment. If your marriage is not going well, there are several ways to end it, either temporarily or permanently, based on the particular circumstance. You may choose to file a legal separation, an annulment, or a divorce.
Divorce is known as the legal process of terminating a marriage. Divorce laws may differ from state to state. Utah is one of the states that acknowledge both the “no-fault” and the “fault-based” divorce. A no-fault divorce can be granted without proving who is guilty. This type of divorce case is usually less expensive and faster since it does not require spouses to confirm that the misconduct of the other party is the cause of the dissolution of their marriage. In Utah, no-fault divorce has two types of grounds: “irreconcilable differences” between spouses, and “living away” from your spouse for three years in a row with a court order of separate maintenance declared by the state.
On the other hand, a fault divorce can be filed by spouses who cannot settle a divorce by mutual consent. In cases wherein both parties cannot agree to an amicable divorce, you need to prove that either your husband or your wife had committed a misdemeanor that resulted in the breakup of your marriage. In Utah, the judge may grant you a fault-based divorce based on the following grounds: impotence (inability to have sex), adultery, more than a year of willful desertion, habitual drunkenness, willful neglect, extreme violence or cruelty, felony conviction, and untreatable insanity. An experienced Orem family law attorney can help you understand these grounds for divorce.
Before filing a divorce in Utah, both the husband and wife must be residents in one specific county for more than three months. To begin the divorce process, you must fill out several forms and write a divorce complaint including the grounds for divorce. The Utah State Courts provide these forms through the Online Court Assistance Program (OCAP) for easier access. You need to answer sets of questions and disclose all the required personal information.
After accomplishing the program, it will automatically generate the documents you need for filing your divorce case. The divorce forms include Cover Sheet for Civil Actions, Verified Complaint about Divorce, Department of Health Form, Summons, and Parenting Plan (for spouses with minor children). The use of this automated system costs $20 which you can pay, along with other court and legal fees when you submit your divorce paperwork. If you are unable to settle the payment, you have the option to request the court for a fee waiver together with your proof of income and list of expenses. Your application will be reviewed by the judge and once you qualify and meet the waiver requirements of the court, the fees will be waived.
Once you complete your divorce papers, you may now submit the original documents to your designated county court, depending on your county of residence. Utah state law permits the filing spouse or the “petitioner” to proceed with the filing of divorce documents using registered mail to ensure the delivery or you can personally submit it to the county clerk. A qualified Orem family law attorney can assist you in such filing.
You and your spouse should have a complete copy of your divorce papers. “Service of process” allows the other spouse to file a counterclaim or to act in response to the divorce complaint. According to Utah divorce and family law, you need to serve divorce paperwork copies to your spouse within 120 days starting from the date of the divorce filing.
When you decide to file for divorce, both you and your spouse are required to file a Financial Declaration. You need to disclose financial information which includes all your assets and liabilities after the other party involved responds to the initial divorce petition.
Getting a divorce or separation can be stressful and emotionally exhausting. It is a complex, irretrievable, and difficult legal procedure. Both divorcing parties must participate willingly in negotiating the terms and conditions of the divorce agreement. You need to mutually decide on the provisions of your rights on the division of your marital property, child custody, child support, and alimony.
For legal help with filing your divorce case, do not hesitate to contact us at Waldron Law Group. Our competent Orem family law attorneys are here to support you every step of the way and to guide you throughout the whole divorce process.